Pwned: Oprah’s New Cable Channel

After watching Felicia Day’s brilliant web-based sitcom about World of Warcraft devotees, The Guild, I have a pretty bad case of geek-speak. Thus, Oprah’s Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) becomes the Pwned Network…to no one else but me and entirely in my head. If you pwn someone it basically means you’ve dominated them or eaten their lunch. And isn’t that what Oprah’s vast array of media tentacles does to us: own’s our attention?

Her show  is winding down and hitting all of its usual high marks for, presumably, the last time—Final Favorite Things! Final Audience Giveaway of a Trip in the Worst Economy in Recent Memory! Oprah is in the news more frequently and you didn’t think that was possible, did you?

But get ready because there will be no breathing room between the end of The Oprah Winfrey Show and her network’s debut on January 1, 2011. As this happy-clappy video works to convince us: Oprah’s success is our success. Oprah’s secrets are our secrets.

Despite Winfrey’s use of the collective “we,” she still somehow manages to sound like she means the royal we. This majestic pluralism is telling because it unsuccessfully attempts to hide the fact that this era of continued media consolidation and threats to net neutrality, to act as if “we,” the people-citizens, not we the audience-consumer, have the resources to own a cable channel is a disingenuous claim.


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